Pat Curran (20-5) will lock horns with Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (21-2) for a second time after their first encounter at Bellator 85 over a year and a half ago. While the fight ended in Curran’s favor the split decision victory left some lingering doubt about who the better ‘man’ is. We addressed this first in our exclusive interview with the Bellator MMA featherweight champion.
Curran told SciFighting he doesn’t want a repeat of the performance at his last encounter with Pitbull. In his own words, “Of course you want to go out there and get the win but you’d rather get, you know, a knock out or submission and never leave the fight in the judges hands. It was a really close fight and I felt the judges made the right decision and I felt like I won that fight. I know that he feels differently, I know for a fact that he feels that he won that fight. I know we will both go out there and look hard for the finish.”, he said.
Curran went on to proclaim, “The second fight is really going to prove who is the better fighter and I really can’t see this bout going the distance.”
We asked Pat about his injured calf and if he felt he was ready to get into the cage with Patricio. He told us,“It’s not bothering me, it was a hard injury to deal with though, basically I couldn’t walk. It definitely took a long time to heal and get better but now I’m back in the gym and I’m 100% and I enjoyed a full training camp of about 8 weeks or so and the injury won’t be an issue at all.”
When we asked if he’s planning to change his strategy going into this match. Even after having fought and won against Pitbull he insisted, “I want to push the pace more and put the pressure on him more than I did in the first fight. I’m going to work my kicks a lot more, it’s one of those things where you can’t over-think as a fighter you kind of just react. That’s where the training camp comes into play and I’m looking to finish and that’s where I’m at right now.”
No doubt, as the reigning featherweight champ at Bellator, Curran has seen some good days during the promotion’s time under the helm of former Bellator MMA C.E.O. Bjorn Rebney, but we still wanted to get his take on how the new management (Scott Coker, President of Bellator MMA) is doing.
Curran assured us, “I’ve seen a lot of changes, the tournament format is out the door and a lot of cuts have been made but I still like the direction that Bellator is going in. Instead of fighting every week we are going to spread the events out a bit so that we can have time to properly promote Super Cards. Then we can get a lot more attention and also put on better fights for the fans, that’s all that really matters to fight fans, they want to see the best fights possible and that’s the direction that we are going.”
We also wanted to know if he had his pick of the litter, who would he choose to fight next. With a brief pause Curran responded, “After I beat Pitbull I know Daniel Straus is in line for a rematch and he definitely deserves one that’s for sure. There’s a lot of top guys in the division but Pitbull and Straus seemed to be the top 2. Bellator is looking to hire new guys all the time and without the tournament I could be fighting anybody. Whoever they want me to fight and as [the] champ you really can’t choose anybody.”
The recent changes at Bellator, the extension of Glory World Series broadcast agreement with Spike TV and new management for both Bellator and Glory has brought a new world of possibilities for many fighters in both promotions. We wanted to know if Curran would be open to the possibility of supercards that might feature Glory Kickboxers entering a Bellator cage or vice versa.
After a bit of surprise that the possibility was even being discussed he emphatically told us, “I would love to do it, as a mixed martial artist I train in all aspects of the sport and if I had a full training camp for a kickboxing bout I would be more than happy to compete in it 100%.”
But before Curran can taste revel in “Glory” he must defend his title from contender Patricio Pitbull at Bellator 123. Be sure to tune in and catch the action live tonight on Spike TV at 8/7C or follow our live fight coverage here at SciFighting.com!